Plantar Fasciitis is a Common Condition That You Want To Understand.

Luckily, there are plenty of things that can be done to relieve plantar fasciitis and there are lots of proven techniques that can help anybody who is suffering from the condition. 

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects a very specific part of the foot called the medial tubercle (A yellow x marks it on the feature photo of this article). The medial tubercle is a part of the heel bone (calcaneus) that accepts a number of important tendon and ligament attachments.

What makes the medial tubercle vulnerable is that it is under extreme pressure while these ligaments and tendons move during your ten thousand steps per day.

Classic Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

There are two classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis:

1: Tenderness in the medial tubercle is the first symptom. The area is tender and swollen. When you press it it will often feel squishy and almost crunchy. Some have described it as a “cabbage” feeling, as though you are squeezing a cabbage.

2: Pain with the first few steps in the morning is a hallmark of plantar fasciitis. Your plantar fascia shortens and relaxes while you sleep, then is stiff and painful during your first few steps. Some people recommend a plantar fascia night splint to keep the toes from relaxing at night, a dumb idea, if you ask me, but to each their own, right?

95% of People Are Vulnerable to Plantar Fasciitis

Ninety-five percent seems like an impossibly high number! However, if I tell you that the problems causing plantar fasciitis are caused by wearing shoes, wearing socks, and walking on smooth hard floors, you can start to understand why so many people have foot problems. Pretty much everyone does that.

The truth is, humans, including myself, love to live in clean, predictable and safe environments. Hard floors and comfortable shoes are absolutely wonderful. The problem is that this combination of hard surfaces and protected feet makes your foot muscles and nerves weaker over time. This weakness causes a flattening of the arch called pronation in eighty percent of people, a staggering statistic.

A further fifteen percent of people have supination of the feet, where the arches are too high. When this happens, the foot us less able to absorb shock and is vulnerable to stress injuries in the tendons of the medial tubercle.

Custom Orthotics are the Number One Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

There is a flagrant misconception that custom orthotics weaken the muscles of the feet. Research has shown that custom foot orthotics strengthen the muscles of the legs and feet and normalize the alignment of the foot structures to reduce the likelihood of plantar fasciitis.  

If you want to investigate the state of your arches and live in the Port Moody area, then you can schedule a free orthotics consultation. This consultation includes a standing scan of your arches that analyzes your feet and immediately emails a report for you. If orthotics are right for you, we will send you a recommendation for custom orthotics, and you can receive them in less than a week.

Exercises to Help with Plantar Fasciitis

Exercises for the foot are difficult to perform. If you google “foot shortening exercercises” you will likely find many exercises claiming to aid in the prevention of plantar fasciitis. The first problem is that exercises are usually hard to perform perfectly and for some people it is impossible because they just do not have enough coordination in their feet.

The trouble with these exercises is that they do not preclude the fact that bad alignment and movement are damaging your feet all day long. Custom orthotics allow your feet to rest while guiding them into the right position, actively strengthening the muscles while you step.

The best exercise, in my opinion, is to find a beach with loose sand (white pine, buntzen lake, spanish banks) and have a barefoot jog or spend a few hours playing beach volleyball. This is probably the best exercise you can give your feet.

Therapies to Help Plantar Fasciitis

You can wear orthotics and play on the beach, but to get the fastest relief, having a real pro like me examine the exact structures and give you the right care is the real way to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

1: Adjusting the foot and ankle can often provide immediate relief when you have problems in the feet. The foot is quite a mechanical marvel that can be adjusted to correct alignment and movement in the bones as well as the muscles and ligaments, which brings me to…

2: Active Release Techniques (ART) is a patented, state of the art treatment that can address the exact tissues that are involved in your specific problem. Plantar fasciitis is not just one problem, it is a category of problems that can affect many structures in your feet. Proper analysis and care are essential to get the best result for you.

3: Graston Technique is a “secret” technique in my office. It is an instrument-assisted massage technique that I often use in challenging cases. That is all I can say 😉

5: Class-4 Laser Therapy helps tissues to heal more quickly at a cellular level. Class-4 laser has a minimal extra charge, but accelerates healing and sometimes reduces pain in only one visit.

How Much Will It Cost to Fix My Plantar Fasciitis

The cost of custom orthotics and adjustments varies. The most important thing to remember is that you are not just treating plantar fasciitis, you are improving the health and function of your body and optimizing your performance. You are preventing horrible conditions like osteoarthritis, bunions and extending the number of years you can live an active and healthy lifestyle.